psychosocial development in middle adulthood 40 60 n.
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Psychosocial Development in Middle Adulthood (40-60)

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Psychosocial Development in Middle Adulthood (40-60)

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Psychosocial Development in Middle Adulthood (40-60)

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  1. Psychosocial Development in Middle Adulthood (40-60) Dr. Arra PSY 232

  2. Psychosocial Development Theories………… ERIKSON • Generativity vs. Stagnation • Generative people feel fulfillment: workplace, parenthood, volunteer activities, social activities, civic activities • Highly generative people are well adjusted • Stagnation: selfish, self absorbed, lack of concern for their own children, look to see what they can get out of situations not what they can give

  3. Psychosocial Development Levinson’s Seasons of Life • Middle-aged adults reassess their relation to themselves and the external world • Must confront opposing forces within the self (4 developmental tasks) • Young-old: seek new ways of being both young and old; give up certain youthful qualities and finding positive meaning in being older

  4. Psychosocial Development • Destruction-creation: look back and see what you have done destructively to others; make products of value to self and others and getting civically involved • Masculinity-femininity: creating a better balance of the two within one’s self; men become more empathetic and caring; women become more assertive and autonomous

  5. Psychosocial Development • Engagement-separateness: men pull back from being achievement oriented and focus more on the self; women seek more fulfilling careers and are involved in community

  6. Psychosocial Development Vaillant’s Adaptation to life • Middle-aged adults become guardians of their culture • They carry peak responsibility for the functioning of society

  7. Psychosocial Development Midlife Crisis • Only a minority experience this • Intense self-doubt and inner turmoil lead them to make drastic changes in their own personal lives and careers

  8. Psychosocial Development SELF CONCEPT AND PERSONALITY • Possible selves: (ideas of what one wishes to become and wishes not to become) • Possible selves become fewer in number as well as more modest • Individuals are adjusting their hopes and fears to the circumstances of their lives

  9. Psychosocial Development • Adults become more introspective and in-touch with themselves • Coping strategies are more effective; confidence is developed in handling life’s problems • Self-acceptance and autonomy increase • For all of these reasons, some believe this is the prime of their life

  10. Psychosocial Development • Personality traits such as neuroticism, extroversion, and openness to experience tend to decline • Personality traits such as agreeableness and conscientiousness (competent, orderly, disciplined) tend to increase • Slight variances in personality are observed • Personality is generally stable over time

  11. Psychosocial Development RELATIONSHIPS • Middle-aged adults must adapt to many entries and exits • Children leave the home, marry, and produce grandchildren • Middle-aged adults often focus on improving their marriages

  12. Psychosocial Development • Middle-aged adults seem to adapt more easily to divorce than younger people • For women, divorce usually brings significant economic disadvantage, thus contributing to…… • Feminization of poverty: a trend in which women who support themselves or their families have become the majority of the adult poverty population

  13. Psychosocial Development • Middle-aged adults adapt best to children leaving home if they have a strong work orientation and if parent-child contact and affection are maintained • Kinkeepers: As new family members are introduced through marriage, mothers/grandmothers usually take the role of gathering the family for celebrations and making sure everyone stays in touch

  14. Psychosocial Development GRANDPARENTHOOD • An important means of fulfilling personal and societal needs • In low income families, grandparents perform essential functions such as child-care and financial assistance • Skipped-generation families: when grandparents have become primary care givers due to serious family problems

  15. Psychosocial Development • Sandwich generation: adults caught between the demands of ill or frail parents and financially dependent children • Burden for caring for aging parents falls most heavily on adult daughters

  16. Psychosocial Development RELATIONS WITH OTHER SIBLINGS AND FRIENDS • Sibling support and contact decline in middle adulthood • Sister-Sister ties tend to be closest • Friendships are fewer and more selective • Men are less expressive with their friends than women

  17. Psychosocial Development • Women have more friends than men • Viewing a spouse as a best friend can contribute greatly to marital happiness • Interiority: male and female tendency to be concerned with inner life (introspection)

  18. Psychosocial Development Susan Whitbourne’s ideas on identity development • Identity assimilation: an attempt to fit new experiences into an existing scheme (e.g., accepting the necessity for reading glasses) • Identity accommodation: adjustment of the scheme to fit in a new experience (e.g., adopting a new religion)

  19. Psychosocial Development • Social Convoy theory: (Kahn & Antonucci) people move through live surrounded by concentric circles of intimate relationships of varying degrees; these relationships provide assistance, well-being, and social support

  20. Psychosocial Development • Socioemotional selectivity theory: (Carstensen) • Gives you a life-span perspective on how people choose with whom to spend their time • Social interaction has 3 goals: • It is a source of information

  21. Psychosocial Development • It helps people develop and maintain a sense of self • It is a source of pleasure and comfort • Infancy: emotional support is needed • Childhood-young adulthood: information seeking is key • Middle-age: emotional support is needed; seek out those who make you feel good